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Advice and Information for Finance Professionals

5 Ways Technology Can Improve Student Success

Lynne Sampson
Managing Editor

A recent survey indicates that finance leaders in the field of higher education are dissatisfied with campus technology. The survey of chief business officers and senior financial officers across the United States shows less than half (49%) agree their institution makes efficient use of technology.

This trend needs to change if campuses hope to attract and retain more students. Enrollments are predicted to begin a long decline in 2018, and that spells bad news for revenue. For most U.S. colleges and universities, enrollment is their number one source of funding.

To make up for the shortfall, institutions of higher learning are turning to new sources of funding. Some are partnering with corporations. Some are looking overseas. Still others are turning to continuing education, expanding their existing programs and launching new ones to attract adult learners.

Each of these strategies requires innovative marketing and recruitment tactics, enabled by the latest technologies. Today’s students—especially Millennials raised in a mobile world—expect the same kind of digital experience from their schools as they get from popular consumer brands like SnapChat, Instagram and YouTube.

If you want to offer a digital campus that attracts and retains students, your institution should focus on these key areas:

1. Personalize the Student Experience

Students arrive on campus with high expectations, and it’s up to your institution’s faculty and staff to deliver the personalized, connected experience they demand. You’ll need to manage student relationships across channels and devices to meet enrollment goals. If not, students become discouraged and may even leave, taking their tuition money with them. Personalized content and interactions can help students succeed.

2. Promote Student Success

The days of “sink or swim” are over. Today, institutions must focus not only on getting students in the door, but on helping and supporting them throughout their student journey—improving retention, completion, and job placements. Intervene in time to make a difference and keep students on track to achieving their goals.

3. Manage Student Finances

Finances are a key determinant of whether a student graduates; when the money dries up, drop-out is virtually guaranteed. The right technology can give institutions greater insight into students’ financial health and increase the opportunities for early intervention.

4. Foster Institutional Excellence

This is where finance teams can potentially make the biggest difference. A strong operational structure is key to meeting your institutional goals. You need to simplify processes, standardize systems, and prudently steward resources. By gaining meaningful insight into these systems and resources, you can increase transparency, improve traceability, and allocate funding to invest in a modern campus.

5. Empower Lifelong Learning

Today’s students want a personalized learning experience wherever they go. Your institution needs the ability to curate the right curriculum and services for each student—providing (and gaining) insight into individual and aggregated learning paths and best practices.

All of this might sound daunting, but in fact, attracting and retaining students can be as easy as this video.

Technology for Student Success

In a webcast with The Chronicle of Higher Education, a distinguished panel—including representatives of UC Davis and Pierce College Puyallup—will discuss how technology can enhance academic advising and student-learning outcomes. The panel also looks at how cutting-edge technologies, like chatbots and machine learning, can benefit student success.

Webcast attendees will learn:

  • How to get faculty and students on board with using new tools
  • What it takes to evaluate whether a new tool is working successfully
  • How to adapt technology to meet the specific needs of your students

Join the discussion to understand how the latest technologies can help students thrive, leading to greater success for your institution.

Register now for the webcast. 

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